Nick Goeldi speaks to his students before they give class presentations.
Nick Goeldi speaks to his students before they give class presentations.

   Ripon High School science teacher Nick Goeldi didn’t care much for science and math when he was a high-schooler himself.

   That changed when he took a physics class in which he got to do research-based, real-world, open-ended science projects in a lab.

   “I was like, ‘Huh. Math does make sense,’” he said.

   Now Goeldi hopes he can make those educational connections and integrate that sort of exploratory learning in the astronomy classes he teaches.

   And he’ll have a real-life NASA experience to help.

   In June, he’ll be heading to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to do some real-world scientific research, and he’ll be taking a couple of his Ripon astronomy students with him.

   Goeldi was one of a handful of educators — some from public schools, some from private ones and most of them teaching high-school-aged students — recently selected to participate in the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), home to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Read the full story, including how students will be selected and what they will be doing, in the Feb. 8, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.